Ossiam, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, has hired senior staff and moved to larger premises amid a strong increase in assets under management.

Assets increased from €3.9bn at the end of 2020 to €5.8bn at the end of 2021.

The new money comes predominantly from European institutional mandates, as Ossiam continues its shift from ETFs to dedicated approaches. “Our institutional clients nearly all seek ESG strategies and that has been our strongest growth area in the last year or two,” says Etienne Vincent, head of quant strategy and marketing at Ossiam. “We can customise ESG using different approaches, and mix ESG solutions with different asset classes.”

Ossiam has widened its ESG offerings so clients can apply ESG beyond dedicated pockets of equity to institutions’ core equity allocations. Vincent points to its smart beta US equity strategy, which is based on the high-performing Shiller ratio. “It’s relatively rare to find an ESG strategy for US equities, it’s more common for European equities,” says Vincent.

Ossiam also has an ESG solution for European government debt which reduces carbon footprinting. Vincent says: “Clients have been asking for an ESG solution in the sovereign debt space. In some European countries, government bonds are more than half institutions’ portfolios, so climate change mitigation is important in the asset class.”

There has also been a deepening of Ossiam’s product set, with a range of innovative products such as a food for diversity ETF. “As far as we know this is the first ETF in the world to be constructed along biodiversity metrics,” Vincent says. This strategy has attracted strong interest given the growing realisation that the food sector has the single greatest impact on biodiversity.

This is one of the reasons Ossiam has hired Frédéric Bach as head of ESG and responsible investment. Bach joined Ossiam after acting as an ESG consultant to investment managers Hermes and Ruffer LLP. Previously he was senior corporate governance and proxy voting specialist for Sustainalytics and a consultant to the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, a non-government organisation.

In addition, Luc Dumontier has joined Ossiam as head of investment and operations.  Dumontier was previously head of factor investing strategies at La Française Investment Solutions (LFIS). He has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Systematic Investment since 2019.

Other hires include Ombeline Michallet who joins from Pimco as a portfolio manager and trader; Stéphane Brunel who joins the sales team from Neuflize OBC Investissements (ABN Amro Group); Maider Lasarte who joined the sales team from Natixis Global Asset Managers (now Natixis Investment Managers); and Vildane Akinci who joins Ossiam as legal counsel from OWRL Avocats where she worked on the cryptoassets team.

Bruno Poulin, chief executive of Ossiam, says: “The strong qualifications and experience of our new colleagues will be key for Ossiam’s continuing growth. They will enhance our ability to integrate ESG into our quantitative investment solutions and reinforce how we deliver service to our clients.”

For Further Reading:
An affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers
French société anonyme governed by an executive
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with a share capital of 261 240 €
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